A letter to my friends as part of my #100dayproject
Dear Fellow Educator,
Today is the last day of winter break. I know I will walk into my classroom tomorrow and it will feel like I never left — that there was never a break. It happens every time. It is a bittersweet moment.
I saw an article this week about the DOOR concept as far as it relates to teaching. There is a mass exit from the profession during these pandemic times and it is not because of the children. It is all the other stuff on the outside…
If you had to think through the teachers in your school, what are the adjectives you would use to describe each person’s style?
What would people use to describe you in the classroom?
There are many discussions about what teachers “should” be. There used to be a defined set of rules of the do’s and don’ts for teachers that was ridiculous for today’s standards.
Teachers still have a story attached to them from the outside world of what they should or should not be. …
This school year feels like it is everyone’s first year teaching no matter what year you are on.
A friend recommended a book by Debbie Ford called The Right Questions. There is power to questions. The first one in the book is: Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future or will it keep me stuck in the past?
As I was making notes on these first two weeks of the new school year this question was floating around in my head.
After 7 years as a coach, I went back to the classroom. As I have written before…
Welcome back to the weekend. This week has flown by as the hint of normal schedules looms in the balance. I feel that rush of trying to get errands done and checklists checked before the start of the new school year. My children have gone back to school all virtually. I will be virtual as well (at least for the first 9 weeks) but have to report to the building every day for my normal hours.
I am having black coffee today as usual. What would you like? The temperature is cooler today but I will get the pitcher of…
Welcome to the weekend! Since most people are still not traveling anywhere let’s pretend we are riding on a train to have an adventure together! We can order a fancy coffee beverage or just plain coffee. On this train, the coffee is amazing so you are free to order anything!
If we were sipping coffee I would ask you if you subscribe to my newsletter — if not, please click here!
If we were sipping coffee I would tell you wrote several posts for my BYOB challenge from Ninja Writers. If you missed them, you can read them here.
Last summer I was honored to attend a literacy conference where Cornelious Minor spoke. I took copious notes and was able to have many conversations with colleagues in the evening. That is the advantage of being at a multiple-day conference — you can chat with your tribe about what you learned that day and move forward with plans for the schools.
Over the last 25 years as an educator and attendee of conferences, I have learned to synthesize my notes at the end of the day. I read back through them and fill in the…
I am a list keeper.
There is satisfaction in making a checklist and completing the list.
I keep lists in my paper planner and also in my Google Keep app. Keep is on my phone and also provides a checkbox option. I can also transfer any note to a Google Doc. New learning from the last two weeks is that I can share a note with another person. This means personal notes I can share with my teacher Gmail account so I have access and editability for everything.
For teaching, I toggle back and forth between my planner and what…
Questions and ideas should be the ax that breaks open the frozen sea within us. -Kafka
How much thought do you put into the questions that come out of your mouth? Do you write out questions to ask in your classroom? Your journal? Are you on automatic pilot?
I love great questions personally and professionally. As an introvert, I like to have an ice breaker question ready when in a social situation. I do not mind silence, but I have noticed people around me do not. I am not a fan of…
I am the type of person that thrives on action. I am always thinking and planning and using up all my energy by the end of the day is my goal. I use up the energy by pursuing things that light me up. This is my soul work. The question I ask myself is often, “How can I do this [insert action] at a level 10?” Level 10 is the best I can be at that moment.
But the last couple of days I have been mentally tired. I cannot focus. I cannot read for more than a couple of…
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I have been able to attend several writing conferences through my work over the years. One that had a profound impact on me was the writers at work hosted by Ruth Culham in Sun Valley Idaho. I did not know the landscape could be so beautiful in a place I associate with potatoes. This education celebrity met with her small circle of authors every year to plan workshops for the year. Then she opened it up to other educators. The travel there had been adventurous for me with a small…